Fix OS X wrongly reporting an application is corrupted (OSStatus error 99999)

Aug 05, '13 07:30:00AM

Contributed by: sgasp

OS X stopped letting me install any software not coming from Apple. I wanted to update some software, and instead of seeing the "Quarantine Dialog" box telling that the software was just downloaded from Internet, I got a dialog box telling me that the software was corrupted.

In fact, it was not corrupted—I could use it on another Mac. The issue wasn't affecting Apple software, only third-party apps. Only by setting the "Anywhere" setting in System Preferences -> Security for installing apps could I install software again. But I didn't want to use that setting.

Looking in the Console, I saw error 99999 from CoreServiceUIagent when I tried to install software.

CoreServicesUIAgent[2105]: Error SecAssessmentCreate: L’opération n’a pas pu s’achever. (OSStatus erreur 99999).

After some research and help from Apple I found that a specific file's corruption was the source of my woes.

A way to confirm that you are this weird situation is to use the SecAssessment system policy security command line utility on a system file e.g. the ls command

$spctl --assess --verbose --raw /bin/ls

the result of this command is normally
$spctl --assess --verbose --raw /bin/ls
/bin/ls: accepted

and a dump of xml properties

in my case the output was
$spctl --assess --verbose --raw /bin/ls
/bin/ls: unknown error 99999=1869f

showing the 99999 error

The SystemPolicy got corrupted somehow. Fortunately there is a default database that you can restore.

Use this command (you need to be admin)
$ sudo cp /var/db/.SystemPolicy-default /var/db/SystemPolicy
and reboot; that will restore the ability to install software, and is likely to restore things back to normal.

You may then see an occasional security dialog box coming back again asking confirmation to run a software that you previously authorized, but this is the only drawback to resetting that database.

Comments (1)

Mac OS X Hints